Studio Hagen Corridor completes the 1970s-style renovation of the London townhouse


Architectural firm Studio Hagen Hall has transformed a north London townhouse into a residential home inspired by 1970s California modernism to remind its owners of their time in Los Angeles.

Studio Hagen Hall was asked by recording artists Ben Garrett and Rae Morris to renovate a townhouse near Primrose Hill that appealed to new owners for its size, location and well-landscaped garden.

The London townhouse is near Primrose Hill

Garrett and Morris wanted the interiors to be reminiscent of the style of Los Angeles homes, and in particular the Laurel Canyon neighborhood, where they spent time together, lived and wrote music.

“One of the main reasons clients turned to Studio Hagen Hall was because they saw references to 1960s and 1970s design in our previous work, particularly our use of materials, carpentry design and room planning,” said architect Louis Hagen Hall across from Dezeen.

Hagen Hall's design approach to the Canyon House project is shaped by the work of mid-century architects and designersThe 1970s interior influenced the design

“Ultimately, our inspirations and references were very much aligned right from the start, so evoking this era of design was a very collaborative process,” added Hagen Hall.

Hagen Hall’s design approach to the Canyon House project is based on the work of mid-century architects and designers such as John Lautner, Richard Neutra, and Charles and Ray Eames, all of whom are known for their work in California.

A bespoke velvet sofa in the living areaThe house was dismantled for the renovation down to the shell

The house, originally built in 1969, was previously divided into three separate bedrooms by clumsy partition walls and two staircases.

In the first step of the renovation, the building was dismantled down to the shell, which showed its suitability for a fundamental renovation, as it had only a few load-bearing interior walls.

There are pink and orange tones in the loungeThere is a bespoke velvet sofa in the lounge

Studio Hagen Hall set out to create a series of intimate, flexible spaces on the compact footprint of the home. The aim was to make these rooms feel connected to each other and to the gardens at the front and back.

By eliminating one of the steps, an open living area with a raised discussion platform was created on the ground floor, which is comfortably connected to the dining area and the kitchen.

The 1970s-style house has a recording studio and writing roomThe recording studio is separated from the rest of the house

The living area has a bespoke velvet sofa with hidden storage space that can be separated from the dining area by heavy linen curtains in a custom-made recess made of elm wood.

In the basement there is now a professional recording studio and a writing room, which are structurally separated from the rest of the house in order to achieve acoustic insulation.

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Design features such as the conversation platform, the open staircase and the hatch that connects the kitchen and dining areas are clearly reminiscent of the style of mid-century homes.

The use of materials from this period, such as elm, velvet and fluted glass, is updated with the inclusion of more modern elements, including the microcement floor.

Studio Hagen Hall added wooden furniture to the kitchenVintage and modern pieces of furniture are featured in every room

“From an aesthetic point of view, the biggest challenge was to evoke the Californian style of the 1970s without creating a pastiche of that time,” added Hagen Hall.

“This attitude extended to the selection of furniture and works of art, which include a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces.”

The kitchen feels like a self-contained unit made entirely of elm woodThe kitchen has a wooden window sill

The kitchen looks like a self-contained unit made entirely of elm, with a window sill that offers a view of the garden and back into the living area.

The kitchen and bathroom cabinets have been designed with fluted glass, smoked glass, and brass fittings that develop a patina over time to complement the vintage mid-century furniture and lighting.

Pastel colors and cork tiles in the bathroomCork tiles in the bathroom underline the aesthetics of the 1970s

Velvet upholstery and a textured carpet add a warm and luxurious feel to the lounge area, while cork tiles for the bathroom floor and bathtub trim add to the 1970s aesthetic.

The staircase that connects the three floors has a steel and glass parapet that maintains a visual connection between the rooms.

The master bedroomPastel tones in the bedroom

Canyon House is on the longlist in the Home Interiors category of the Dezeen Awards 2021, along with projects like a 19th century converted house.

The photography is by Mariell Lind Hansen.